This week, my top picks were
Making the transition from children's ministry to church - Fantastic advice about adults relating to kids at church; the transition from Sunday School to church; and the place of youth groups in the growth of faith. Meredith.
Why God doesn't tell you everything - "Sometimes I’ve wondered why God doesn’t reveal the specific plan He has for all of our lives...Maybe the specifics of how we will become more like Christ over a lifetime would be too much to handle...God gives us the big picture of our future. And it’s glorious!...But He chooses not to fill in all the details for us. And that’s a good thing." Trevin Wax
Sexual sin in the ministry -"One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field." I was horrified - and encouraged - by this post calling pastors to "come into the light" and deal with sexual sin. Harry Shaumburg.
I was challenged by
The Christian life is not safe - "Our God isn’t safe, but he is good. Why then do so many of us live such safe lives?" Challies.
Better church: The why and how of running Sunday meetings - "It is really beyond irony to be spending our Sunday mornings in a funk because the church meeting is not edifying." "If you’re going to make a start by improving just one thing about your Sunday meetings, improve your meeting leaders." Tony Payne.
Hidden in the heart - "Tech gurus tell us that no longer do we remember information, we remember where to find it...Alongside such brain-wastage goes an inability to concentrate, an attention span that is degenerating to a point which might make a goldfish wince." Jeremy Walker.
I was encouraged by
Jesus weak and tempted - "The point is not, 'Go and copy Jesus and resist temptation.' The point is give up, own up and throw yourself on Jesus.' Jesus is beyond comparison. He is supremely wonderful. Come and trust him for forgiveness." Spot on, Cathy, and deeply encouraging.
Raising kids to be Christian adults - The secret to raising kids? You know you want it. "Show that Jesus matters more than anything." An oldy but, oh, such a goody. Cathy HT Rebecca
Don't focus on your strengths - "Our gifts are not so much our identity as our offering. And since God has given us these gifts, he’s not obliged to always put us in places where we can use them fully." Jon Bloom.
I was informed by
Facebook makes us miserable - I'd have to agree with this one. "Facebook makes me believe, even stronger, in the value of the local church, in the value of true, deep fellowship, or genuine community." An oldy but a goody revived by Challies.
City life for kids - My friend Susie responds to my Kathy Keller link. And here she reflects on the benefits of bringing up kids in the country.
The Bible and birth control part 2 - Should Christians take the pill? I agree with Challies on this one.
I was disturbed - helpfully - by
When is porn actionable? - Troubling, but worth a read. When does a husband's use of pornography call for divorce? And when is a wife complicit? Douglas Wilson.
Isn't porn harmless? - "Porn is much more than an individual decision—it is part of a system that preys on women and children, and its viewers are participating in, contributing to, and being shaped by that destructive, enslaving system." Justin Holcomb.
I now want to read
Working it out - Smashing the world's view of work - At last! MTS has a blog! I'll be reading along. Ben kicks off with an interesting article about doing less work so we can do our real work.
God's good design: What the Bible really says about men and women - "Claire Smith’s long and deep engagement with the Bible’s teaching on men and women is at last published for the benefit of all." Yay! I gotta get me one! Mark Thompson.
Wednesdays were pretty normal - "For me, I think the day Joshua was diagnosed was the day I actually became an adult. Up until then, I had the luxury to sort of play at life...But when Joshua was sick, it brought an incredible seriousness to life - to marriage, to parenting, to work, really everything." An interview with Michael Kelley by Vitamin Z about this book.
and I enjoyed
8 myths about China today - "If you're not confused than you simply haven't been paying attention." HT Justin Taylor.
Preschoolers' busy bank: painting rocks - I always did love a painted rock. A great kids' craft. Cath.